New Delhi: The government today approved a Rs 351 crore project to increase awareness among children, industrialists and farmers towards water conservation and improve the demand side management of available water resources.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved the implementation of the Human Resources Development and Capacity Building Scheme in the Ministry of Water Resources, with a total financial outlay of Rs 351 crore during the 12th Plan period.
The scheme proposes to generate awareness about water use efficiency, conservation and management of water by targeting various stakeholders including general public, school children, agriculturists, industrialists and other water users, an official statement said.
Existing training institutions, including National Water Academy (NWA), Rajiv Gandhi
National Ground Water Training and Research Institute (RGI), North Eastern Regional Institute of Water and Land Management, Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Central Water Commission (CWC) will be strengthened under the scheme.
The average annual potential of utilisable water in the country remains constant at 1,121 billion cubic metre (BCM) (690 BCM surface water and 431 BCM ground water).
However, the demand for water is rising rapidly with an estimated requirement of 1,180 BCM by the year 2050.
Supply side management has limitations since most of the options of harnessing available water have already been utilised and the incremental cost of harnessing newer sources like desalination entail higher cost.
According to the proposal, demand side management could be improved by enhancing water use efficiency in the field of agriculture, industry and domestic water supply.